When to use ‘aboriginal’ or ‘Aboriginal’, ‘indigenous’ or ‘Indigenous’?

We suggest it’s best to use capitals for Aboriginal and Indigenous when referring to people.

While there are formal stylistic and grammatical rules that allow for a small letter in certain circumstances, many people feel that this is still a form of cultural bias and disrespect. For example, all the English diaspora around the world aren’t english people, yet a general group of First Nations peoples can be called indigenous.

Australians, Greeks, Americans of all persuasions, Africans, Lithuanians, Europeans, and even long vanished societies like the Phoenicians get one. Queenslanders, Canberrans (Ken Behrens?) and Kangaroo Islanders get one too. If you are Wiradjuri, Kuku Yalanji, Cadigal, Inuit or Navaho you are entitled, but if you’re Indigenous in any kind of group, you can lose it. It is an English language stylistic rule that is quite rightly under review for its relevance in today’s world.

Posted in: About Aboriginal Culture